Moody’s raises Argentina credit rating

A man walks past a banner calling to reject a deal to repay disgruntled creditors, while the Argentinian government worked to end a 15-year battle in the US courts over a catastrophic debt default on March 30, 2016

Buenos Aires (AFP) – Credit rater Moody’s raised Argentina’s sovereign rating on Friday as the country prepared to return to international debt markets after 15 years in the cold.

The US agency raised its key rating for Argentina’s sovereign debt to B3 from Caa1, meaning it still ranks as a speculative investment with a “high credit risk,” but less high-risk than before.

Argentina is preparing to issue its first sovereign bonds since its default in 2001 in a step toward settling its debts from that period.

That was made possible this week when a US court cleared the way to lift restrictions that had blocked the country from paying off its debts until it settled a lawsuit with so-called holdout creditors.

“The likelihood that Argentina will make payments to restructured bondholders increased significantly” after that ruling on Wednesday, Moody’s said in a statement.

The liberal economic reforms of Argentina’s new conservative President Mauricio Macri also strengthened the rating, it added.

Moody’s credit outlook for Argentina was stable while it expected “continued positive reform momentum and stabilization of reserve levels, with the still formidable macroeconomic challenges, particularly in reducing high fiscal deficits and inflation.”


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